When people ask Scott and Seth Avett how long they've been playing music they'll usually say, "forever." Though, under the name The Avett Brothers, they've only been playing for a relatively short amount of time. Yet, the Avett's sound is indicative of a lifetime of development and an implicit partnership.
In 1998, during the time of the Avett's rock band, Nemo, Scott began getting together with some friends and other flat-pickers on Tuesday nights in Greenville, NC to drink liquor, play acoustic bluegrass and country music, and occasionally perform on the street. Having gained an interest in acoustic music after meeting Doc Watson at an early age, Seth joined in and they called the gatherings "The Back Porch Project" or "Nemo Downstairs." During this time, Seth and Scott started writing originals over the phone and would throw them in during the get-togethers. As time passed and 2000 rolled around, the Avetts, with friend and fellow Nemo guitarist, John Twomey, compiled a 6-song, self-titled record under the moniker The Avett Brothers. The three also began playing sporadic acoustic shows in their off time from Nemo.
Around Halloween in 2001, Nemo fell apart. At first, Scott, Seth and long-time friend Kenny Graham wanted to carry on, but they soon came to the realization it was time to move forward. Scott and Seth fell back on the acoustic music they had been crafting, realizing that it was more accessible than Nemo's brazen, rock sound. During this time, the Avetts also parted ways with Twomey. Seth testified, "John is a great guitarist, we just knew it was right to part ways at the time."
In January of 2002, after several months of songwriting and a few performances with various players, The Avett Brothers entered Pat Gauthier's studio in Marshville, NC to record their first album, Country Was. It was during that time that the Avetts realized the music they were making was special, more natural and truthful than anything they'd created before. It was also during that time that stand-up bassist Bob Crawford became a permanent member of The Avett Brothers. After a self-booked, 11-state, 2-month summer tour, endless amounts of regional shows, and traveling to promote the Country Was album, the boys took a break in late 2002 to prepare to record the follow-up.
To kick off 2003, The Avett Brothers returned to the Gauthier's Marshville, NC recording studio to begin work on their new material. However, this time the Avetts were prepared for the job. Unlike the past, where the songs were written and recorded without being toured on or played in a live setting, the majority of the new songs were thoroughly worked through and developed. With this confidence, the Avetts aimed to nail the intensity of their infamous live shows. As the Avetts stated, "we went in, more than ever, knowing exactly what we wanted to do. There were no questions or fogginess, which can show insecurity in the musician and in the band." Seth, Scott and Bob knew the exact purpose of each song and understood through and through the meaning behind each lyric. After 70 hours in the studio, The Avett Brothers emerged with A Carolina Jubilee, a paramount representation of the Avett's journey so far.
The album, like The Avett Brothers, is a mixture of old-time country, bluegrass, pop melodies, folk, rock n' roll, honky-tonk and ragtime. Listeners merely need one spin through the album to realize the breadth and depth of the Avett's music. The infectious "Love Like The Movies," the get-up-and-go of the opener, "The Traveling Song," the heartache of "Pretty Girl From Annapolis", and the somber "Smoke In Our Lights" show the range of emotion and conviction within the songwriting. The overall sound is without the need of a label, because frankly none would do the music the justice. It's simply left up to each person to extract his or her own account from the Avett's music.
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January 28, 2010 Subject:
Set lists -
One Line Wonder
Sixteen in July
I Killed Sally's Lover
Pretty Girl From Annapolis
Paranoia in B Flat Major
Left on Laura, Left on Lisa
Walking for You
Talk on Indolence
2 A Lover Like You
Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane
The Weight of Lies
Please Pardon Yourself
Four Theives Gone
A Gift for Melody Anne
September 26, 2008 Subject:
Gotta have QuickTime To Play These Tracks
Average Quality (unfortunately you can also hear the drunken chick who says she needs to pee like 4 times thoughout the show.)
I remember this concert very clear now, but didnt realize at the time how early they had been playing songs that came out on "Emotionalism" - almost 2 years before the release!! (Disc 1 - Song 6 - Paranoia in B Flat Major)
Thanks for the nice seed. I would like to find The Variety Playhouse set from the summer of 2007 if anyone else out there knows if a recording exists...